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Risk factors for the occurrence of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) in Danish pig herds

Risk factors for the occurrence of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) in Danish pig herds

Preventive Veterinary Medicine 159: 22-29

Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) is widespread in many European countries including Denmark, where 88% of randomly selected production herds tested positive in 2016. In the present study, we investigated herd-level risk factors for farms being classified as LA-MRSA positive (study 1), in addition to herd-level risk factors for farms changing status from LA-MRSA negative to LA-MRSA positive during a 2-year period (study 2). Risk factors previously identified in other studies were confirmed in study 1: large herd size, herd type (lower risk in herds with sows) and number of pig suppliers. Due to the effect of herd type, data from sow herds (N = 41) and herds without sows (N = 166) were analysed separately. A univariable analysis found that the variables significantly associated with LA-MRSA status for sow herds were: use of wet feed in the sow units; higher weights of piglets at weaning; availability of a delivery room on the farm; cleaning of aisles after pigs were moved; number of pigs per weaner section; number of pigs purchased in the past year, and factors related to rodent control and human traffic in the herd. In herds without sows, the univariable analysis showed that the presence of other species of animal on the farm; negative pressure ventilation; full sectioning; frequent visits from the veterinarian; peroral use of tetracyclines for weaners; number of pigs purchased in the past year, and factors related to rodent control and human traffic in the herd were significantly associated with LA-MRSA status. For herds that changed from LA-MRSA negative to positive (study 2), having a company contract for mouse control, having more than one pig supplier and using group medication in the drinking water were the variables associated with LA-MRSA status in the univariable analysis. We did not succeed in building a biologically meaningful multivariable model based on any of the datasets and, as observed in similar studies, many of the risk factors identified in the univariable analysis were related to herd size. It was therefore not possible to determine whether it was the size of the herd or related factors that were the causal risk factors for being LA-MRSA positive.

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Accession: 065907545

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PMID: 30314785

DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2018.08.012

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